Monday, September 19, 2005

An Open Letter To My Daughters on Education

Vision Statement for the Pruitt Family Homeschool

To Annalee, Corrie, Rebeccah, Noelle, and Elaine,

Girls, this is a statement about the hopes and desire your mother and I have for you. I believe these hopes are in line with God's plans for you. I wish to communicate them to you explicitly so that you are not guessing about our goals for our homeschool. Additionally, I am communicating them so that we are reaching to the high calling that God has placed upon all of us. I hope these stretch you but leave lots of room for you to develop your own goals which fit God's unique gifts that he has given you.

o God Centered Education:

The main purpose of our homeschool education is to develop Christian character. Christian character is defined as the same character as Christ. He served selflessly. The character qualities found in the Sermon on the Mount and the fruits of the Spirit is how we hope to live, given by God's Holy Spirit. This kind of character can not be achieved by our own determination or training due to our sinful nature. It is done through the work of the Holy Spirit and starts with regeneration. Therefore it is your mother's and my own desire that each of you place your faith in Christ and be dependent upon him alone for eternal salvation. This is the fundamental step taking you down a road of transformation. From this beginning we hope not only for you to be Christians but to also be filled with the Spirit of God Almighty, growing in knowledge and grace. To see the blessing you must avail yourselves to the means of grace God has given us; the Bible, prayer, witnessing, the church and the sacrament. A solid knowledge of the Bible is essential for developing a Christian world view but without prayer and devoted life to God it simply results in pride and legalism. We desire to see you posses a rich relationship with God and for it to be the center for living your life even when you leave our care.

o Christian World View:

One of the great benefits of a Christian education is the opportunity to view the world through the biblical point of view. Everyone sees the world through a world view. Many in my generation have taken ungodly world views that are centered on man and not God. These run counter to biblical and true faith and scholarship. It is our hope that you will be able to stand against these errors of man centered and naturalistic world views. Some of these views include evolutionary view of the origins of the world and human culture. While the first is destructive, there has been many who have been led astray by those who reinterpret all the scripture through a man made system. Men of various academic backgrounds attack the truth of scripture. It is our desire that you will be able to recognize and ward off these attacks.
In addition to rejecting worldly lifestyles and thoughts systems it is our hope that you do not adopt the errors which have crept into the church. In our day and age, the error of a decision based salvation has invaded the church at large and squelched the growth of many Christians. Errors from within the church and without the church will plague the church until the return of Christ. It is our prayer that you may stand against such error in your home, church and society.
o Basic Skills:

After godly character, we desire for you gain tools for learning. Reading, writing and arithmetic are often thought of as the basic skills. While it is overly simple to think that these three are all that we need for life, to do without them would be disastrous. We do not desire for a mere ability to read but a love for reading. We do not merely desire that you have the ability to write but hat you are able to articulate your thoughts on paper. We do not want you to merely be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide but that you would be able to examine your world though math.

o Broad Knowledge

In addition to these basic skills we seek to have you learn a great breadth of world around us. The riches of science, history, geography, culture, philosophy, music, visual and performing arts give context for understanding the world around you. None of us can master all of these areas of academic endeavor but a broad education makes a person more equipped for life.

Science - The ability to examine our world through experience
and put it in a uniform system of thought.

History - Examining the world from the written record of those who
were close to those events.

Geography - Understanding the physical, political, cultural relations of
our world.

Culture - Human systems of living and thought; to include languages.

Philosophy - To understand the basic questions of life; who am I, where
am I, what is right and what is beautiful.

Arts - Expressions of human thought and emotion through music,
literature, painting, plays, dance and film.

This list of what should be included in a broad education is not all that you should learn. It is a good basis for a broad education.

o Unique Gifts, Specialization and Salable Skills

You need broad based education for life but you have only so many years on earth. You must use you days wisely. Each of you must choose the skills you would like to embrace as your own. You must be good stewards of the abilities which God has given you. The most important element in being a steward of these gifts is hard work in your selected field. As you are faithful in developing these gifts through hard work, planning, determination and studying God will give you opportunities to use those gifts. David developed the skills to protect sheep and play music. Through these humble talents God raised up a king. He has good plans for you. Let Him show you his plan for your life. Make good use of the talents he has given you.
One great error people make in choosing different education paths is that they focus simply on an education as a means of obtaining career objectives. You may have a career for a few years but an education lasts a lifetime. Your investment of time, money, efforts and passions is not wasted when at the end you do not get the job with a certain title. In fact, a single career path is less and less the experience of most people. People may have one, two or three careers.
It is our desire that you find a couple of things that you can learn to do well. Even if these are not your life long goals, they can carry you through your life as music and shepherding carried David through out his life. Skills are transferable. It is important that you select your areas of concentration so that you can put your whole heart into it. Lifelong pursuit of excellence in your chosen areas is our goal.

Your Parents
Post a Comment